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The 6.5 CM answered a need for an accurate, pleasant to shoot round that was easy on barrel throats so it took off like crazy. It spawned the growth of other 6.5 cartridges that exceed the CM's muzzle velocity but not by any amount critical to target shooting, at least not in a short-action length and at reasonable distances. All of its qualities still exist so it is every bit as good a target shell as it ever was. I saw that you don't handload your ammunition so the variety and abundance of factory ammo probably exceeds any of the other 6.5s, something that has to be important for you.

As far as long-range shooting goes, I frequent the Original Pennsylvania 1,000 Yard Benchrest Club near Trout Run, PA (just north of Williamsport off Exit 14 of US15) where the go-to rounds these days are the newer 6mm ones (6GT, 6mm Dasher, etc.) unless the wind is blowing, at which time the 300 Winchester Short Magnum rules the roost. In fact, the world record 10-round group was shot at that club using that cartridge. The 300 Winchester Magnum is not even in the conversation there - too much recoil and barrel erosion. Those guys and gals don't want to spend the time and money developing the best handload recipe only to have to start over when they have to change barrels frequently.

I have an early second generation Ruger Precision Rifle in 6.5CM for which I handload. I don't shoot really long-range with it so I use 120- and 140-grain bullets in it. It shoots both with equally good accuracy, recoils very softly and is fun to shoot. The Ruger might represent the best value in PRs at this time - it might no longer be the best but like the 6.5CM, it still does its job well. Attached are photos of five-shot 100-yard groups shot with it.

There are a lot of choices in rifles these days - too many, almost - but that's a good problem to have.

Ed

View attachment 1810794 View attachment 1810795
Beautiful groups. Haven't been to Williamsport in years. My younger brother, Ed, maybe up to 3 years ago. He used to shoot F-class and do the stats.
 

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I have a Tikka Tac A-1 in 6.5 CM. Sako makes the barrels for Tikka since they are part of the same company. It shoots amazing and doesn’t break the bank. I don’t do much long range shooting, but here are some groups at 200 yards with factory Hornady match ammo. I do reload, but after seeing what factory ammo can do, I don’t think I can do better.
 

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Can I assume you are reloading that 7.62 x 51?
You can assume what you'd like.

I don't reload, so factor that into your assumptions too.

One very key element that you aren't factoring into your blanket statements is, altitude.

You might want to look at that and get back with us regarding the capabilities of the .308.

The OP will be very well served, for what he wants to do, with an inexpensive rifle and factory ammunition at the altitude he'll be shooting at.
 

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Buy a Ruger Precision Rifle in .308.

It will shoot better than you can, you can use up your extra ammo, and additional ammo is more readily available than other calibers.

Shoot 175 or 185 grain bullets and you'll ring steel with the best of them.

Doping the wind is the real test in long range shooting anyway.

Put a decent $2,500 - $3,500 scope on it and you'll be more than competitive with the other casual shooters.

While I agree with your full sentiment on the rifle and the caliber, and the bullets I picked up a Mossberg MVP (5.56) and added a Timney trigger - just don't like the "toggle" triggers you see in the Ruger, the Mossberg, and many other rifles. The Mossberg trigger was 'in stock' and costs half of what the Ruger RPR one does from Timney, so yes, I am cheap...

I have the Tikka A-1 Tactical in 6.5 Creedmore, and the Sako TRG-22 in 308 so I think I have a fairly full and honest data set to comment from...
 

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Again, I'd love to hear their loads.. the 3Ps: powder, pills, and pressures.
Get on accurate shooter. Plenty of info there. I'm loading reloader 15, 185 juggernauts in small primer lapua brass. I'm not going to quote how many grains of powder and doubt many will. What's safe in my rifle may not be in yours. 4064 works great in 308 also.
 

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I know there is at least a lose affiliation of thousand yard shooters at Tucson Rifle Club, also known as The 3 Points range.
Rio Salado range Apache Junction area had a smith working on site.

One local, long retired, Bob Jenson was a renowned 1000 yard rifle shot. Shooting 308 matches were the ammo was supplied by shoot management. When Bob thought his barrel was starting to go bad he bought 10 of the best barrels available and worked through them until he had THE ONE!

The only thing I will say, is there are rifles for sale that you will be able to shoot before you buy. Buying a gun that you cannot shoot first is "buying a pig in a poke!" "Taking a shot in the dark". There are incredibly accurate used rifles out there but there are even more shot out or never accurate rifles out there.

Pre pandemic the Savage 110 series and offspring had earned the most accurate production rifle right out of the box.

I would go in with try before I buy.

But that is me


Al
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 · (Edited)
7.62x51 is not a 1000-yd cartridge in any rifle. At best, it's a 600-700yd cartridge, where after, its bullet becomes trans sonic and loses its accuracy. If want to use .308 bullets, you'll need to go into the magnums. There are a number of 6.5mm and 7mm cartridges that are usually still supersonic at 1000yd. If you are going to be a serious 1000yd shooter, you'll need a specialized action on your rifle for it to allow your riflescope to have sufficient vertical adjustment. You also have to get into benchrest quality handloading.
I wonder how 5 out of 6 students in the class, all shooting 308, hit a 1000 yard target. No one got it on the first try, there was a strong cross wind. The last one to hit a 1000 yard target at the end of the day had a 10 mil offset for the wind. The wind was consistent enough for a correction to work on the follow up shot. I think I had to hold over a mil and 2 mil to the left earlier in the day. Since none of us had any long range experience, none of us had more than 2 days of reading the wind, and the instructors only chimed in if you were struggling after a third miss. One student spotted and one shot in a two man team, then switched when moving to a new firing position with new unknown yardage targets. Good times.
 

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had a 10 mil offset for the wind.
Now that's enough of a hold off that you would want to dial the major portion of it.

Large windage hold offs take you out of the proper alignment, assuming you're shooting prone.

But you saw why I said that hitting a target at 1000-yards isn't a real problem. Hitting with an amount of wind is.
 

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The interesting thing was that I had never fired a scoped rifle in my life before the course. I read a book, but showed up at the course knowing little and having no experience. I had never shot at anything more than 100 yards with iron sights. After 5 days with rented equipment, a head shot at 600 yards was easy, even when it was inside a shot up old pickup truck and I had to mil out the range using the tire rim. I should have gotten geared up right after the course while what I learned was still fresh, before I forgot a bunch. But life got in the way.
Not having shot a scoped rifle was probably a blessing. Your mind was clean and clear to take in the knowledge and it processed it properly. I’d much rather have a new student in my shotgun classes that has never shot a shotgun before.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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If you're buying new, there's no reason to go 7.62. There are plenty of 6.5 CM available, more and more of the PRS guys are shooting 6mm, such as CM, 6Dasher, 6GT, etc. at least in my area, and a good number of the shoots will go up to 1200 yards or so. Any of the 6s with 108 bullets in a fast twist barrel don't give up much of anything on the others except in recoil. It's big advantage is being able to spot your shots, not losing them in recoil. You're not giving up much with a 6.5 CM and if you're not reloading it's the way to go.
 

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Just look at cost and availability and selection on ammo for the 308 vs the 6.5 Creedmore.

Choice becomes easy then...
 

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Just last week, I bought some match grade 308 and 6.5CM. 308 Federal Gold Medal Match was about $1.60 per round and 6.5CM Hornady ELD Match was about $1.90 per round.

30cents different a round. (for present day)

Barrel life for 308 is about 5000 rounds and 6.5 CM is about 3000 rounds.

2000 rounds difference.

Recoil 308 > 6.5CM (amount of difference? little noticeable)

Ballistic Advantage 6.5CM > 308 (not that much but it is noticeable. Just ask any PRS shooters)

For target shooting, 6.5mm is fading out and 6mm is starting to dominate, however, 308 is already an ancient history.

Take your pill.
 

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In these threads, just like in threads by people new to trapshooting, the respondents don't pay attention to what the OP wants to do.

So they respond that you need a K80 Parcours in order to have any fun at trap.

Or, in this case, you need some exotic or wildcat caliber to even dare set foot on a range.

Or you need to reload and spend time cutting grains of powder into quarters.

The OP wants to have fun shooting long range and put what he learned in his class to use.

He's not looking to take F-Class by storm, or to win the PRS this year. He just wants a basic set up.

So what he used in his class is a perfectly acceptable set up to replicate.
 

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OK.... Very Good Point..... Since you put it that way.... When any new shooter comes to long range shooting and looking for casual weekends fun hitting anything past 500 with confident and consistency, 6.5CM will be recommended these days. Well, not everyone but most of them.

Plain and simple Tikka T3X Tac A1 pushing Hornady American Gunner Lines ammo (cheaper but very competitive in accuracy). I know, it's a boring choice but an excellent way to start with fun and confidence.
 

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6.5CM will be recommended these days.
And that's fine. Everyone likes the "new" (well, not so new any more) hotness.

A friend has a GAP Hospitaller in 6.5C. Shoots very nicely.

With the OP just starting out, he could get into the 6.5C without too much trouble.

Sell his excess .308 at the range, I guess.

My point has been, it's not absolutely necessary.
 

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And that's fine. Everyone likes the "new" (well, not so new any more) hotness.

A friend has a GAP Hospitaller in 6.5C. Shoots very nicely.

With the OP just starting out, he could get into the 6.5C without too much trouble.

Sell his excess .308 at the range, I guess.

My point has been, it's not absolutely necessary.
What are you saying? He rented the rifle and left with 300 rounds of 308. You're not suggesting someone needs to make the caliber choice just because he has some rounds left? I don't know about that.

And regards to the new thing, I'll never suggest a caliber just because it's a thing. I know better than that and that's why I have not re-barreled my rifles. I'm only suggesting 6.5CM is the easiest long range caliber to start with.
 

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“The United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) recently conducted a study comparing the 6.5 Creedmoor, .260 Remington, and .308 Winchester cartridges and they came to a similar conclusion. Compared to the current M118 Special Ball Long Range .308 Winchester load (a 175gr Sierra MatchKing Boattail Hollow Point) currently used by special operations snipers, the 6.5 Creedmoor had less recoil, doubled hit probability at 1,000 meters, had a 33% longer effective range, retained 30% more energy at 1,000 meters, and had 40% less wind drift at 1,000 meters.”
 
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